Plan to sell Portishead retirement flats dubbed 'Olditz' on the open market scrapped
Developer PegasusLife says it is evaluating its next steps for the retirement apartment blockby Heather Pickstock
Controversial plans to allow a huge Portishead apartment block - once earmarked for retirement living - to be sold on the open market have been withdrawn.
Developers Pegasus Life applied to North Somerset Council in the autumn to change the use of its Marina Gardens development at Harbour Road to allow it to put the flats up for sale on the open market.
But now it has been revealed the firm has withdrawn the application and is considering its future options for the site.
A spokesman for Pegasus Life said: "PegasusLife has withdrawn the application further to feedback received.
“We are currently evaluating next steps."
The multi million pound ‘retirement and assisted care living’ scheme – dubbed ‘Olditz’ by local residents - was initially granted planning permission at the end of 2015.
The first part of the development, which has 126 apartments, café and restaurant, wellbeing spa and hydrotherapy pool, was completed last July and the second phase finished last October.
However bosses at Pegasus Life said that following needs assessment in the area, and due to the fact that other retirement complexes have been built in the district, there was no longer an appetite or need for such a facility.
They applied to change building’s use, from its current C2 assisted living status to C3, to allow it to sell the one and two bedroom flats on the open market.
The change would have also included lifting the age restriction, which currently states the apartments can only be purchased by someone over 60.
A decision on the application was due to be made this month by council planning officers.
The application to change the building’s use sparked hundreds of objections, with more than 370 objections and just a handful of people writing in favour of the changes.
Objections came from both local residents and businesses who have accused the developers of ‘underhand tactics’ to allow the flats to be sold on the open market.
They also said traffic in the area would become worse as a result of the development and that more residents will put even more pressure on already stretched services.
Some residents are now suggesting the site is used for social housing instead.
Portishead has grown massively in size in recent years thanks to developments at the marina and at the Ashlands and Village Quarter and is now the second largest town in North Somerset.
When all developments are complete the town’s population is expected to swell to around 30,000.